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Miles Ahead session details

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November 12, 1968 (5 items; TT = 10:03)
Columbia Studio B, New York NY
Commercial for Columbia

Miles Davis (tpt); Wayne Shorter (ts); Herbie Hancock (el-p); Chick Corea (el-p); Dave Holland (b, el-b); Tony Williams (d)

1 Splash (M. Davis) 10:03

Edited (ca. 8:30) on all issues prior to C3K 65362
2 Interlude 1 (M. Davis) 0:00
3 Interlude 2 (M. Davis) 0:00
4 Interlude 3 (M. Davis) 0:00
5 Interlude 4 (M. Davis) 0:00

1 Splash
12" LP: Columbia KC2 36278, CBS/Sony 36AP 1409/10, Mosaic MQ5-209
CD: Columbia Legacy C2K 46862, Columbia Legacy C3K 65362, Columbia Legacy C3K 90921, CBS/Sony CSCS 5340/1, Sony SRCS 9308/9, Sony SRCS 9759/60, Sony SICP 35/7, Sony SICP 924/6, Sony SICP 30072, Columbia Legacy 86975 24922 [= Columbia (F) 86975 52492] (CD 3, CD 29)

"Splash" was not issued until it appeared on Circle in the Round (1979), and that version omitted the introduction and opening bass line (= the first 1:33). The main melody is simple: six bars in 5/4 plus one bar in 6/4 that serves as a break -- repeated ad libitum. The piece is apparently a composite -- intro (take 1), then insert (take 2), and then insert (take 3) -- but the edits are very smooth. The piece unfolds as follows:

0:00-1:33 Opening theme and bass line
1:33-3:57 Davis solo
3:57-6:10 Shorter solo
6:10-6:19 Ensemble
6:19-6:59 Corea solo
6:59-9:50 Hancock solo, then Hancock/Corea together
9:50-10:02 Closing theme

Hancock plays a Wurlitzer electric piano, and Corea plays an RMI electronic piano. I'm grateful to Frederik Adlers for these identifications.

About the four rejected interludes which were not given master numbers and which contain no improvisation, Bob Belden writes in his notes to the Silent Way box (Mosaic MQ5-209, Columbia C3K-65362),

The unissued interludes are something of a mystery. They are only a few cue-length introductory phrases, having nothing to do whatsoever with any tracks that Miles had recorded up to this point. Herbie is on electric harpsichord and Chick is on organ, and these snippets do have a flavor of Sgt. Pepper's. These interludes are just fragments of something; perhaps they were just test recordings for Miles to hear.

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